René Bouvier Marsannay Clos du Roy Vieilles Vignes 2019


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Alcohol: 13% 

Grape(s): Pinot Noir

Localization: Burgundy, France

Tasting Notes: You will discover a wine that combines the complexity of a chiselled attack with fresh fruit, and a finish with a more pronounced structure that takes a few years to mellow. Its nose is intense and complex, with notes of iris, violet, black fruit, and spices (Sichuan pepper, and Espelette chilli pepper). On the palate, you will find fine soft tannins. The mineral intensity bursts in the mouth, and the very persistent finish is marked by strong salinity.

Notes: The Clos du Roy is a wine recorded since the 13th century. It was compared to the first wines of Gevrey-Chambertin in the eighteenth century and it figured very prominently in the Lavalle classification (1855).

Depending on the vintage, we use 50% whole-bunch fermentation, and ageing lasts about 12 months in barrels (with 20% of new barrels) and 6 months in stainless steel tanks.

Food Pairing: This wine pairs well with red meat served rare: duck, pigeon, or beef, prepared simply, with spicy meat juices, venison or ostrich with a hint of chocolate in the sauce, or fillet of beef in pastry with a forest mushroom garnish, and meat juices. 

The Domain: The family-run Domaine René Bouvier owns 30 hectares of vines (≈ 74 acres), all in the Côte de Nuits. The estate, located in Gevrey-Chambertin, has been managed by Bernard Bouvier since 1992.

The winery produces a range of 26 different wines, ranging from the Bourgogne appellation to the most famous Grand Cru wines: Charmes-Chambertin and Echezeaux. The grapes are entirely harvested by hand, with 23 hectares (≈ 57 acres) producing red wines and 7 hectares (≈ 17 acres) producing white wines, including Marsannay Le Clos, a monopole (a vineyard owned by only one winegrower). The estate vineyards extend from the ancient terroirs (a combination of soil, slope, exposure, climate, and human expertise) of the Dukes of Burgundy, near Dijon, to the well-known wine-producing village of Vosne-Romanée.  Most of the climats (vineyard plots in Burgundy) are located in the appellations Marsannay, Fixin, and Gevrey-Chambertin.

The estate was founded in Marsannay in 1910 by Henri Bouvier, Bernard’s grandfather. René Bouvier, Bernard’s father, took over in the mid-1950s, and developed the estate by buying and renting vineyard plots, reaching a total of 12 hectares (≈ 29.5 acres) in 1991.

Bernard then took over in 1992, continuing to expand the Domaine René Bouvier.

In 1998, he bought Marsannay Le Clos (3 hectares / ≈ 7.5 acres) in Couchey, a monopole known for the quality of its white wine. It was also at this time that an additional hectare was added to the Clos du Roy cuvée.

From 2000 onwards, Bernard Bouvier began working in partnership with producers of Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines.

In 2001, the fundamentals of a new qualitative approach were in place: manual harvesting in small 20 kg boxes, with sorting tables, gravity fermentation, etc. The same year saw the acquisition of 2 hectares ( ≈ 5 acres) in Gevrey-Chambertin, including the very old vines that make up the Racine du Temps cuvée (90-year-old vines).

The year 2006 marked a turning point, with the construction of a new winery in Gevrey-Chambertin, which makes it possible to experiment (e.g. a longer ageing period, demi-muids (600-litre barrels), and concrete egg-shaped tanks), for even more quality and purity in the wines.

Even though careful soil management has always been a priority, 2009 saw the formal beginnings of 100% sustainable organic wine-making (with certification from the 2013 vintage onwards).

Since 2016, we have continued to follow the same working philosophy, but without official certification.

In 2019, Bernard took over the vineyards owned by his brother Régis, which are also in the Côte de Nuits, between Morey-Saint-Denis and Marsannay-La-Côte.